NBA Finals - Game 5 Picks
June 16, 2013
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NBA Finals – Game 5
Line: Miami -1.5
Miami’s “Big Three” showed up with their best game of the series in Game 4 as the Heat turned the motivation from a must-win game into a dominating 109-93 win to even up this series. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh combined for 85 of Miami’s 109 points as they clearly took Game 3’s embarrassing effort on their shoulders and made up for it in Game 4.
So now we have the ultimate swing game in Game 5, the last in San Antonio. The Spurs need this one badly to avoid going back to Miami down 3-2 in what would be a monumental hill to climb. Miami would love to head home up in the series and won’t want to rest on their laurels knowing that they’ve still got two games at home. So what happens?
Well rather than predict who will come out on top here, I believe the total is the better way to go. Since Game 5 is so critical to both squads, I don’t expect to see the same high-scoring games we’ve seen in San Antonio thus far. Both Spurs home games have cashed ‘over’ tickets for bettors but largely because both were blowouts by the early fourth quarter with one team catching fire and knocking down everything.
That won’t be the case in Game 5 as San Antonio and Miami will rely heavily on their defense to get the job done. In fact, I see this game playing out very similar to what we saw in Game 1 with the final few possessions deciding the game. That was the only other time in this series a game wasn’t decided by the early fourth quarter and given how critical winning Game 1 can be it was no surprise to see only 180 points scored.
Well, if Game 1 is critical in a playoff series, Game 5 is twice as critical when the series is tied 2-2. It is now a best-of-three and the old saying “defense wins championships” didn’t exactly come out of thin air.
San Antonio will not allow two of James, Wade and Bosh to go off for 30-plus like they did in Game 4 and Miami will continue to use their lightning quick defense to energize their offense.
Neither team will score 100-plus points this time around and whoever does come out on top will do it with two or three high quality defensive stops in the waning minutes.
Take the under.